Help, I am Hungover, What Can I Eat to Make Me Feel Human Again?
A hangover is your body’s reaction to drinking too much alcohol, symptoms include fatigue, nausea, headaches, sensitivity to light, dehydration or dizziness. Research on hangovers is limited but it is thought that the body experiences specific hormonal and immune responses during a hangover that trigger different symptoms that can be relieved by certain foods and drinks.
Alcohol blocks the production of a hormone that helps your body hold on to water, leading to dehydration and the loss of electrolytes like potassium and sodium. Bananas are especially rich in potassium and can help replenish your body’s stores.
Eggs are rich in cysteine, an amino acid that your body uses to produce the antioxidant glutathione.
Drinking alcohol decreases the body’s stores of glutathione. Without it, your body has a hard time breaking down the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism. Eating cysteine-rich eggs is a great way to increase glutathione in your body and possibly improve hangover symptoms.
Headaches associated with a hangover are usually due to dehydration and decreased blood flow to the brain, eating watermelon may help. Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, a nutrient that may increase blood flow and its high water content will help rehydrate you.
Pickles are high in sodium, an electrolyte that is depleted during excessive drinking. Eating pickles or drinking their brine may help boost your sodium levels and overcome your hangover.
Because of its high fructose content, honey may improve hangover symptoms. While research on this subject is limited, fructose may help rid your body of alcohol more quickly.
Crackers contain fast-acting carbs that can increase your blood sugar during a hangover and improve related symptoms. When the liver is processing alcohol, it no longer focuses on regulating blood sugar. This is why low blood sugar can result from excessive drinking, especially in people with diabetes. Eating carbs increases blood sugar.
Due to their high magnesium content, nuts may be a solution to your hangover. Excessive alcohol consumption can deplete magnesium in your cells. As a result, refilling magnesium stores may help treat symptoms.
Spinach is rich in folate, a nutrient that may be diminished due to overindulging in alcohol. A review of the research found that alcohol impairs folate absorption, and chronic alcohol intake can lead to deficiency and eating spinach can help maintain adequate folate levels after drinking alcohol
Eating avocados after a night of drinking can help raise low potassium levels from alcohol consumption and dehydration. Research shows that avocados contain compounds that protect against liver injury. Since drinking in excess takes a toll on the liver, avocados may be especially beneficial for hangovers.
Meat and other high-protein foods may help your body better handle a hangover.
Research shows that alcohol prevents your body from absorbing certain amino acids. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids, making it a good choice during a hangover.
Oatmeal contains complex carbohydrates that provide a slow and steady release of sugar into the bloodstream and may help with hangover symptoms. One study found that eating a breakfast full of complex carbs instead of refined sugars led to improved mood and fewer feelings of fatigue. Oatmeal after a night of heavy drinking may help with hangover-related anxiety, fatigue or low blood sugar.
Blueberries are rich in nutrients that fight inflammation in your body, which comes in handy if you have a hangover. A study in 20 men found that blood levels of various inflammatory compounds increased after alcohol consumption. Thus, eating blueberries after having too much to drink may help fight related inflammation.
- Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is a popular remedy for all kinds of afflictions and hangovers may one of them. Research shows that chicken noodle soup can help you rehydrate — mostly due to its high sodium content.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which may prevent your body from losing glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that helps rid your body of alcohol and is often decreased during alcohol consumption.
Asparagus packs certain compounds that may provide hangover relief. According to one test-tube study, extracts in asparagus more than doubled the effectiveness of certain enzymes that help break down alcohol and also protected liver cells from damage. Though there is currently no research on the effect of asparagus on hangovers in humans, eating this vegetable may be worth a try.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are excellent at decreasing inflammation in your body. Since drinking alcohol can increase the number of compounds that cause inflammation, eating salmon or other fatty fish may be a good way to ease hangover symptoms.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain several nutrients that may help you get over a hangover faster. One cup of cooked sweet potato has over 750% of the DV for vitamin A, 14% of the DV for magnesium and 27% of the DV for potassium.
Vitamin A may help fight the inflammation associated with hangovers, while magnesium and potassium are needed to replace what’s lost during alcohol consumption.
Extensive research supports that ginger is an effective remedy for nausea. The anti-nausea effects of ginger make it a possible treatment for the stomach upset associated with hangovers. Eat ginger on its own, in smoothies or as a tea.
Drinking water is one of the most important things you can do with a hangover. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it makes you pee more frequently and leads to increased water loss. Water can replenish these lost fluids.
- Tomato Juice
Tomato juice may be another good beverage to drink with a hangover.
Research shows that tomatoes contain compounds that protect against liver injury. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, so tomatoes may counter the effects of drinking alcohol. Moreover, one test-tube study found that tomato juice can accelerate the rate at which enzymes process alcohol.
- Green Tea
Green tea may be helpful in fighting hangovers, with one study finding that compounds in green tea significantly decreased blood alcohol concentration in rats. While research has only been done in animals, the effectiveness of green tea in improving hangover symptoms may translate to humans.
- Coconut Water
Since hydration is such an important part of hangover recovery, drinking coconut water may help getting over a hangover. Coconut water contains electrolytes. One cup of coconut water has 11% and 17% of the DVs for sodium and potassium respectively.
Research has shown that coconut water is just as effective as traditional sports drinks for rehydration.
Coffee consumption has been linked to decreased inflammation; therefore, drinking a cup of coffee after a night of heavy drinking may fight inflammation from a hangover and it improve your hangover fatigue and make you more alert.
The Bottom Line
There is no magical cure for a hangover but several foods and drinks may help you feel better. The best way to avoid a hangover is drinking responsibly and taking Hydrodol (and sharing it with your friends). Hydrodol, a nutrient rich formula full of amino acids, B1 and B2 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support the body so you can feel your best the next day, naturally!